[ Photographs taken at the CARA Welfare Philippines booth at the Waggin' Tails event in BGC]
I started volunteering for the CARA (Care and Responsibility for Animals) Welfare Philippines, particularly the Pit Bull Rescue, ever since I was in high school. The sense of fulfillment never faded whenever I saw the angelic faces of all the Pit Bulls that I took care of find their forever homes. I haven't been to the center in a while but seeing some of those familiar eyes made me realize how long I've been gone and how healthy they've all become ever since they were saved.
Animal Welfare, according to AVMA.org, "means how an animal is coping with the conditions in which it lives in. An animal is in a good state of welfare if (as indicated by scientific evidence) it is healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, able to express innate behavior, and it if is not suffering from upleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress." These Pit Bulls were rescued from a dog fighting syndicate in San Pablo, Laguna, and were taken care of by the members of the CARA Welfare Philippines. With the help of the members and volunteers, the dogs were brought to their new home and rehabilitated. More than 200 Pit Bulls were rescued from the scene, and about 120 are now left under the care of CARA. Many have been adopted and given a second chance by their new families.
One thing I learned from being a volunteer at CARA Welfare Philippines was everyone deserves to be treated right and given a second chance. These dogs were taught to be agressive by their previous owners for the sake of dog fighting, and rehabilitation was a difficult process for both us and the Pit Bulls. As a volunteer, we were allowed to walk, bathe, and feed the "adoptable" Pit Bulls, and also observe the ones that were in the "yellow zone" and "red zone". A great number of them also needed medical treatments due to the different sickness they've acquired in their lifetime. We had to bid farewell to the ones who've crossed the rainbow bridge, and hold on to the ones willing to fight. CARA Welfare Philippines never gave up on our furry friends.
As a student of NASC 7, everything I gained made me a more empowered animal lover and life saver. To never use animals for illegal forms of recreation and minimize their fear, pain, stress, and suffering - this is what I stand for.